Three top chefs to plate up the tastes of Canberra at special QT dining event

Ian Bushnell 22 February 2019

QT Executive Chef Josh Smith-Thirkell: the dinner will be a celebration of the Capital Region’s produce. Photos: Supplied.

It’s going to be one hell of a reunion for three QT Hotel chefs who have all called Canberra home when they combine their culinary talents for a special Good Food Month event at Capitol Bar and Grill.

On Friday 1 March, the Executive Chefs from QT Sydney, QT Perth, and QT Canberra, all with hatted-restaurant experience, will join forces at Capitol Bar and Grill to deliver a four-course shared feasting menu with matched Canberra District Wines.

Exclusively designed to celebrate Good Food Month, and personally served by all three chefs, the dinner will be an intimate, long-table dining experience.

Each chef will be in charge of a course each, developing bespoke dishes reflective of the signature style from their QT restaurant.

QT Sydney’s Michael Box from Gowings Bar and Grill will be designing the starters; QT Perth’s Nic Wood, fresh from a best new restaurant award for the Santini Bar and Grill, the entrees; and QT Canberra’s Josh Smith-Thirkell the mains and desserts.

Smith-Thirkell said his colleagues had all been Canberrans and were looking forward to getting back together for a big dinner and paying homage to all that the region can offer.

He said they would draw on the rich basket of ingredients available throughout the Capital Region, and provide a taste of what diners can expect on the night.

With Gowings Bar and Grill in Sydney having a seafood focus, Box’s starters will include some of the South Coast’s finest oysters from Batemans Bay and further south at Lake Wapengo.

Wood, who Smith-Thirkell considers a mentor, is a pasta specialist so the entrees will reflect that.

Smith-Thirkell’s mains will be a tuna dish and a florentina, a traditional Italian T-bone, with numerous sides to showcase local fruit and vegetables. Desserts will be classic Italian.

But the matching Canberra District wines will remain a surprise.

Smith-Thirkell moved back to Canberra two-and-a-half years ago to find the local food scene had blossomed.

“To go to the local farmers market at EPIC and see the amount of stalls and the new things that are popping up everywhere, it’s just magical,” he said.

“For a small little town that is Canberra, for the people who don’t know the area, there’s a lot more here than what meets the eye.”

He said the food scene has continued to grow – “even with the restaurants, go down Lonsdale Street and there are new restaurants opening up everywhere, and they’re all great”.

The QT Canberra Good Food Month Dinner is sure to be a not-to-be-missed experience.

Date: Friday 1 March, 2019
Time: 6.30 pm for a 7pm start
Location: Capitol Bar and Grill, QT Canberra, 1 London Circuit
Price: $150 for a four-course feasting menu with matched Canberra District wines
Booking: To make a reservation, click here
For more information on QT Canberra, visit:


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